Skip Navigation LinksPDE > Postsecondary & Adult > Adult Basic and Family Literacy Education

Adult Basic and Family Literacy Education

Adult basic and family literacy education programs are funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Adult Education, to provide a full range of instructional services that prepare Pennsylvanians looking to develop the basic skills necessary to participate fully in the education of their children, find and keep family-sustaining employment, or obtain a secondary school credential. The Division of Adult Education also oversees high school equivalency testing in Pennsylvania, provides professional development for adult education and family literacy program administrators and teachers, and provides training for volunteer tutors of adult education.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education awards grants under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, 29 USC § 3301 et seq., and under the Pennsylvania Adult and Family Literacy Education Act, 24 P.S. §§ 6402-6409 for adult and family literacy education programs in the Commonwealth. These awards include federal funds for integrated English literacy and civics education programs (EL/Civics) .

Activities to be conducted under these grants are to create partnerships among the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and local entities to provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education and family literacy services. The intent of adult education and family literacy services is to assist adults to become literate; to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency; to become full partners in the education and development of their children; to achieve sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their families; to attain a secondary school diploma; and to transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways. Services also assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners to improve their reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills in English; to improve their math skills; and to acquire an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Advisor Assignments

Advisors are responsible for overseeing all programming in the agencies in the local workforce development areas assigned to them, including adult education, EL/Civics and family literacy. All questions should be addressed to the assigned advisor.

Sonya Harris Saunders
Local workforce areas:

  • Central  
  • Delaware County
  • Northern Central
  • Northwest/Crawford County
  • Southern Alleghenies
  • Southwest
  • Three Rivers
  • Tri-County
  • West Central
  • Westmoreland & Fayette

Programs with only family literacy funding 

  • Chester County IU 24
  • Reading Area SD
  • York City SD
  • United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA

Christine Houck
Local workforce areas: 

  • Bucks County
  • Chester County
  • Lancaster County
  • Montgomery County
  • Philadelphia County


  • Statewide Leadership Activities/Professional Development System Coordinator
  • Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus/ISAL
  • Tuscarora IU 11 

Mary Kay Peters
Local workforce areas:

  • Berks County
  • Lackawanna County
  • Lehigh Valley
  • Luzerne-Schuylkill Counties
  • Northern Tier
  • Northwest/Erie, Warren, Venango Counties
  • Pocono Counties
  • South Central


  • Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma/High School Equivalency Program Administrator